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New law on working hours: Rector's office and Works Council agree on new duty rosters and salary structure for MedUni Vienna

(Vienna, 27-05-2015) Yesterday, 26.05.2015, the Rector’s office and Works Council for medical staff at MedUni Vienna reached agreement on new duty rosters and a new salary structure to take account of the Hospital Working Hours Act (KA-AZG) for doctors at MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital. The settlement includes a 20% pay rise as from 1 January 2016, a further 10% as from 1 January 2019 and a one-off payment of € 8,000 for 2015. In addition, nursing staff will relieve doctors of many ancillary medical duties with immediate effect.

20% pay rise as from 1 January 2016, a further 10% as from 1 January 2019
The settlement now includes a 20% across-the-board pay rise for all medical staff at MedUni Vienna with effect from 1 January 2016. On 1 January 2019 there will then be a further 10% increase in salary for all doctors. On top of that, there is a one-off payment of € 8,000 for 2015. "This settlement ensures that MedUni Vienna continues to be an attractive employer for qualified doctors," commented Director Wolfgang Schütz, speaking about the outcome of the negotiations, but he also pointed out that this agreement would mean considerable additional costs for the University in the future. Moreover, Rector Schütz also emphasized the importance of “Vienna City's assistance in achieving the rapid transfer of ancillary medical duties." 

48-hour week in the hospital as from 2017, possible overtime for research and teaching
The changeover to a 48-hour week will take place on 1 January 2017. However, an opt-out clause will enable medical staff at MedUni Vienna to continue to work up to 60 hours even beyond this date. These additional hours are to be used exclusively for research and teaching, the core functions of a medical University.

More flexible duty rosters, no staffing cuts
The settlement also includes new duty rosters and an increase in the on-call allowance. With a view to continuing to provide optimum care for patients at Vienna General Hospital, the new duty rosters are to be adjusted much more flexibly to patient numbers than previously.

The statutory reduction in working hours is in response to the KA-AZG Amendment, which came into force on 1 January 2015 and which makes provision for a reduction in the weekly working hours of hospital doctors from the current average of 60 hours to 48 hours, albeit with a transitional period until 2021.
The option for making full use of this transitional period will be available at MedUni Vienna right up to the end of the statutory period (1 July 2021).

Nursing staff take over more ancillary medical duties
At the same time, Vienna City has promised that nursing staff will take over many of the ancillary medical duties in Vienna General Hospital. For example, this will include activities such as "taking venous blood", which the nursing staff will be available to do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help take the load off doctors.